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Fillmore County, Minnesota, USA - the most fossiliferous county in Minnesota

Ordovician

Mostly Galena Formation

Whispering Winds, Spring Valley, MN

 

I thought I would share some pics of my fossil barn that I have been remodeling on a budget. There are some ideas here that others may be able to make use of.  :-)

 

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Overview of the outside of the barn. Note the trilobite cutout an pterodactyl toy at the peak. 

 

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Galena Formation large cephalopod.

 

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The hitching rail is nice to use as a comparison to the approximate size this orthocone ceph may have been.

 

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The kids love this dinosaur island in the old wooden watering tank. I give fossil tours and host fossil birthday parties.  :-)

 

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The fossil prep table is open to guests. I have a grinder and brush, a couple of engravers ($7 from Harbor Freight), a dremel tool, and $5 3 magnification visors. Lori turned me onto a mini microscope for less than $5 off Amazon. I also make wire wrapped fossil jewelry here.

 

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This wall was created using pallet boards that were stained or washed with paint. Everything is pieced together like a puzzle. I had a couple of gals here wwoofing (wwoofusa.org), trading time for experience and room and board, and they loved doing this creative work. They also put up the reclaimed tin ceiling and I put different reclaimed tin down as wainscote. Note between the 2nd and 3rd window the dried mushrooms being used as shelves and decorations. I'm wanting to add shelves in the windows at the pane lines for more fossil display and greyed wood shelves supported by rusted chain, eventually.

 

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I had some 1880s cedar shingles and put them up on two of the walls around some pallet shelving. The pallets are super sturdy shelving for fossils and FREE!

 

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Some more pallet shelving and I used some cut off ends for a few papers.

 

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I keep my gear in the barn also. Sometimes I use it as a woodworking shop. I like to work in live edge cedar.

 

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Kids and adults all enjoy this old aquarium with a black light in the hood as a fluorescent fossil display. I have rock and minerals in it as well.

 

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The walk-in door to the hen house is in the fossil barn, I also raise white homing pigeons and ducks. So this pterodactyl is a lead in to the descendants of the dinosaurs.  :-)

 

Now to the gardens...

 

 

 

 

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Overview of the teaching fossil gardens to "train" the eyes of my guests to really see fossils.

 

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The strom garden is by the fossil barn.

 

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Then we stroll over to the cephs. These are all "junk" fossils as I picked them up. Pretty cool though and I encourage people to handle them to get a feel for the field.

 

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I have a sandbox for the kids of St. Peter Formation sand and filled with junk Ordo fossils and sharks teeth, etc. from Morocco donated by a TFF friend, and a few minerals. The kids absolutely love it!

 

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We find mostly horn corals here.

 

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The bryozoans, or moss animals, are very common.

 

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As are death plates, hash plates, of brachs.

 

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Very few good crinoid specimens here.

 

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Oolite, dendrites and other geologics go here.

 

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Trace fossils.

 

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Fisherites are a common find with their waffle pattern and cross section ladders. About 40% are fluorescent.

 

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TFF member Papa Dave taught me to circle the trilo molts.

 

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And of course the snail trail - I love my snails!

 

The members of TFF have shared so much of their knowledge and enthusiasm for fossils with me that I thought some might like to see the fruits of their many labors with trying to help me understand what I am finding here in southeast Minnesota.

 

To all of my Fossil Friends, THANK YOU SO MUCH for your Knowledge, Patience, and Kindness!  :-)  I hope you have enjoyed this little trip around my fossil barn and yard and that perhaps it inspires you in some small way to reach out and share the joys of fossil hunting with others.

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Most excellent, your outdoor museum!!:D

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Looks like a fun place to learn about fossils!:thumbsu:

Wish I had something like this when I was younger.

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Thanks for sharing your Fossil Garden with us. Always a great feeling when you can teach someone something.

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7 hours ago, ynot said:

Looks like a fun place to learn about fossils!:thumbsu:

Wish I had something like this when I was younger.

But nothing had fossilized yet when you were young Tony! :rofl:

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Cool setup Bev! Looks like you are having fun. I like the non-packaged, boxed look that I currently have. Thanks for showing us. 

 

Regards, Chris 

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minnbuckeye

If you notice, Bev's shelving in the barn, which looks so nice, is nothing more than a wood pallet with some boards removed. I am going to steal her idea for my barn IF this has not be patented!

Mike

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54 minutes ago, minnbuckeye said:

If you notice, Bev's shelving in the barn, which looks so nice, is nothing more than a wood pallet with some boards removed. I am going to steal her idea for my barn IF this has not be patented!

Mike

Patented, copyrighted, fully registered and trademarked.  You're in for some serious royalty payments Mike.

Of course, you can get around that with a 10% change in the design. B)

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Xiphactinus

Who wouldn’t want to hang out there?!  That is sooo neat!

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Thanks guys! This is the setup that would have helped me to understand what I was seeing and looking for in the way of fossils and basic fossil prep when I first started fossil hunting.

 

The signage is on single cedar replacement fence boards you can purchase for $1-2, oil based paint and a semi-transparent cedar toned stain. I didn't let them dry long enough (7 days minimum) before I put the sealer over them which caused some bleeding. And some treated 1/2" plywood for the cutouts.

 

Besides selling fossil hunting maps I am considering adding some inexpensive retail stuff to sell, any suggestions?

 

 

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  Quite the set up.  Very orginized too!   Ive seen a few 'fossil gardens' before, but none as nice as this.

 

RB

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fossilized6s

Looks great Bev! Hopefully we can come up sometime this year, probably summer/fall. 

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minnbuckeye
10 hours ago, Bev said:

I am considering adding some inexpensive retail stuff to sell, any suggestions?

Your chickens?

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On 6/20/2018 at 11:52 AM, fossilized6s said:

Looks great Bev! Hopefully we can come up sometime this year, probably summer/fall. 

 I always love meeting new TFF friends! We have some awesome fossil hunting here.  If you google Whispering Winds, Spring Valley, MN and look on airbnb you will see that I have both camping and a little B&B upstairs to stay over.  :-)  I even have fossils at camp!

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Tidgy's Dad

How utterly marvelous. :wub:

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